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Record of Decision System (RODS)



Address:  US HIGHWAY 41N 
City & State:  VINCENNES  IN  47591
County:  KNOX
EPA ID:  IND006377048
EPA Region:  05
NPL Status:  Currently on the Final NPL
ROD Type:  Record of Decision
ROD ID:  EPA/ROD/R05-94/258
ROD Date:  08/23/1994
Operable Unit(s):  01
Media:  groundwater, soils
Contaminant:  Lead, iron, aluminum, arsenic, barium, calcium, PCBs, antimony, beryllium, PCE, TCE, VOCs
Abstract:  Please note that the text in this document summarizes the Record of Decision for the purposes of facilitating searching and retrieving key text on the ROD. It is not the officially approved abstract drafted by the EPA Regional offices. Once EPA Headquarters receives the official abstract, this text will be replaced.

The Prestolite Battery site is an inactive lead-acid battery manufacturing facility located in Knox County, Indiana. The facility occupies approximately 18 acres on U.S. Highway 41 northwest of the city of Vincennes. The land use immediately surrounding the Prestolite site is residential and commercial. Five residences are situated on North Second Street immediately north of the site, and two residences are located on North Sixth Street immediately south of the site. The site is bordered on the west by an Indiana State Highway garage and on the east by the parking lot of a local inn. A five acre pond and associated wetland complex, as well as an auto salvage yard, lie immediately northwest of the site. The city limits of Vincennes lie approximately 500 feet to the west of the site.

In 1945, the Autolite Battery Corporation established the facility for the manufacture of lead-acid batteries, primarily for use in cars and trucks. In 1955, the site was purchased by the Eltra Corporation, under the name Prestolite Battery. Allied Chemical Company acquired the Eltra Corporation in 1979. Allied announced the decision to cease production at the plant on March 6, 1985, and the site has been inactive since closure in May 1985.

In the course of plant operations, manufacturing process wastes and wastewater became laden with lead, lead oxides, lead sulfates, and sulfuric acid. These lead-containing sludges and wastewaters were discharged to an on-site sewer system. Over time, these sewer lines became plugged with lead sludges, and as a result of leaks and sewer line back-ups, the soils around some of these sewers and associated sumps were contaminated. Lead dust was also released from the plant's ventilation system, contaminating surface soils in the vicinity. Accidental spills of process materials also contributed to the lead-contamination of on-site soils. Elevated concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were also present on-site in soils around a transformer pad near the northwest corner of the main building.

Prior to 1978, wastewaters were sent through the on-site sewer system directly to the Vincennes Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTW) via the city sanitary sewer system. Beginning in 1978, wastewaters were subject to pH treatment on site followed by placement into a wastewater sedimentation lagoon prior to discharge to the POTW. An analysis of the lagoon sediment indicated high levels of lead, iron, aluminum, arsenic, barium, and calcium. Based on file information, other chemicals potentially used at the site included trichloroethane, methylene chloride, paint thinner, epoxy resin, refined coal tar, and a lubricant containing trichloroethylene.

Beginning in 1982, Allied commenced investigations to assess the degree of contamination on and off site. Pursuant to these investigations, more than 7,000 cubic yards of lead and PCB contaminated soils were reportedly removed from both on- and off-site areas. The cleanup standard was to remove all lead-contaminated soil down to a level below 1,000 parts per million (ppm). This standard was coupled with a requirement to add lime to all remaining soils where lead levels exceeded 250 ppm to reduce the mobility of lead still in the soil. PCB soils were remediated to a level below 10 ppm.
Remedy:  The remedy selected for groundwater contamination includes continued monitoring of the shallow and intermediate aquifers at the site as well as monitoring of surface water and sediments. The selected remedy also incorporates institutional controls on the placement of drinking water wells and natural attenuation of shallow contaminated groundwater.

The major components of the selected remedy include: long term groundwater monitoring of the shallow and intermediate aquifers for volatile organic compounds and metals; long term monitoring of surface water and sediments for volatile organic compounds and metals at the N.W. Pond and Kelso Creek; groundwater, surface water and sediments will be sampled semi-annually for the first three years, after which consideration will be given to reducing sample frequency to annually; institutional controls will be implemented - one unused well will be abandoned (closed) and one active residential well will be closed and the residence connected to the city water supply; and natural attenuation of shallow groundwater.
Text:  View full-text ROD [ 55K ]
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